Title: Ginger Snaps (2000)
Summary: Two death-obsessed sisters, outcasts in their suburban neighborhood, must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf. [bat: At least there’s no sugar-coating it.] [Wing: I’ve never read the summary before. That’s fucking blunt.]
Tagline: They don’t call it the curse for nothing. [Wing: Hahaha, I love this tagline. Werewolves as metaphors for everything, y’all.]
Notes: I’m going to add a bit of a content warning because, although this is clearly a horror film and anything goes in them, some people don’t want to look at dead pets. Here at Snark at the Moon! we are very much TEAM SAVE THE DOGGO. And another warning for a lot of faked suicides. It’s kind of heavy at the beginning. So consider yourself duly notified.
Hey! I’m back with a bonus recap in the Snark at the Moon! series. Last year was a rough one personally for Wing and I wanted to do something to cheer her up. So why not gift her with WEREWOLVES! And a recap of one of her favorite werewolf films, to boot. [Wing: I love you, bat. You’re an amazing friend. Also: in excellent, but accidental, timing, we’re getting this up for January’s full moon, the Wolf Moon. My favorite full moon, obviously, and my birthday month. This was such a wonderful surprise.]
Ginger Snaps is a grade-A horror film with macabre comedy, late 90s / early 2000 fashion, and practical werewolf effects. And there’s sports! I apparently find all the werewolf films that have sports… How werewolves got intertwined with sports remains a mystery to me. (Hey, is anyone going to watch the MTV’s Teen Wolf movie that dropped
a few days ago January 26th? WEREWOLVES AND SPORTS, YET AGAIN!) [Wing: Wait, did it drop already?! I’m so behind on everything right now. Also: werewolves + sports makes so much sense, I wish we saw it even more often. It tends to go hand in hand with werewolves as physically improved on humans. That scene in Cursed where Jimmy jumps onto the bleachers during wrestling practice always delights me.] [bat: Heh, no, it didn’t. When I wrote that, I had no idea when we were posting this. It drops on January 26th. I am simultaneously looking forward to and dreading what they might do with it.]
Anyway, I’m honestly not certain when I found Ginger Snaps; it was way after its initial release, because I don’t normally gravitate towards werewolf films. (Stating the obvious, though you wouldn’t think that, based on how many Snark at the Moon! recaps I’ve written/commented on.) [Wing: That’s friendship, when you’ve wanted to do a project together for ages and choose to watch movies you don’t normally watch because your friend loves them.] [bat: Considering what movies I’ve
tricked gotten you all into watching/recapping… we’re HUGE on friendship and movie recaps round here!] I believe it was my good friend Aea who told me about it, because that’s who I always think of when the film comes up in conversation. And Aea was right, of course, that I would enjoy this, because it hits pretty much all highs and lows of being a adolescent in the late 1990s / early 2000s. I may not have been bitten by a werewolf (seduced by vampires? yes!) but I completely empathize with Ginger and Brigitte in many ways.
[Wing: I have no idea when I first saw this or how I found it. Probably because it was simply a werewolf movie, and a teen girl werewolf movie at that. Definitely watched it in the early 2000s because shortly after that I started referencing it in my discussions about women werewolves and weaponized sex appeal.]
This film would spawn two sequels, both of which I have viewed, but I’m kind of ambivalent on them. The direct sequel is one I don’t revisit – though it does feature a pre-Orphan Black Tatiana Maslany in her feature film debut – and the third one is… well, it’s just plain weird. It took me three viewings to finally understand what the hell was going on. So I don’t see either of them in my recapping future. If Wing recaps them, I will comment, of course.
[Wing: I plan to, eventually! Though we have so, so, so many werewolf movies before us, who knows when.]
Here’s the trailer, in case you want to remember, or if you’ve no idea what film I’m recapping:
With that, let’s just dive right in, shall we?
I’ve been to Canada… once… and it was Vancouver, British Columbia… and it was night and very dark… and I didn’t really get to go anywhere but the small store at the docks… but they had Lays KETCHUP CHIPS! And there may be photographic evidence of me eating those KETCHUP CHIPS. Anyway, I’ve never been back since.
[Wing: I’ve been to Canada several times but I’ve never had ketchup chips. I must remedy this. My first time was canoeing in the border waters between Minnesota and Ontario, so that can be forgiven, but I’ve been in actual civilization since then!]
But every time I think of CANADA I think of wide open plains that have been filled with massive housing subdivisions with cookie cutter houses and giant high voltage towers and a dirty brown-grey feel to everything. I am well aware there is more to Canada than that (I know there’s giant metropolitan cities and beautiful mountains and tons of moose and everything is basically maple-flavored and for some reason their major export is ACTORS I DEVELOP CRIPPLING INTERESTS IN) but between this film and Orphan Black, a bleak mental image has just gotten stuck.
Having vacationed for a month in Nebraska / Kansas / Missouri and having driven to / from there over the flat, so very flat!, landscapes of middle America, I think that’s also influenced this weird metal image of Canada. I live in a very verdant, lush landscape of actual plants and trees and there’s a coastal mountain range and a huge dormant volcano I can see everywhere I drive so this is the perfect opening shot. This opening footage really sets the mood and tone of such a monotonous existence where the few who dream of escape almost lose hope of ever achieving it.
[Wing: If I can, I avoid driving across Kansas, because it is one of the most boring sections of interstate that I’ve ever driven. Are there beautiful parts of Kansas? Yes. Are they along I70? No.
This movie captures that oppressive feeling of suburbia, at least in how I view it, though I grew up more small town/rural and only briefly lived in suburbia as an adult. The ticky-tacky houses that all look the same, the adults who do the same things day after day — the visuals and the atmosphere of this movie are fantastic.]
A lone dog barks as the film jumps between rows of houses and an empty field of tall grass, a sign advertising lots for development at the low, low price of $175K (which is dirt cheap (cheap dirt?); they’re probably $675K now) and how “Bailey Downs” is a “clean and caring community”.
[Wing: It is to weep. (Though cost of living is much, much lower here, and I’ve been looking at lots for less than $100K.)]
We move to a fenced-in yard, where a woman is raking leaves. A swing set sits in the yard, along side a sandbox where a little boy is digging in the sand. The woman gathers a handful of leaves and stuffs them into a black plastic trash bag, as the little boy notices something on his fingers. Sniffing at it, he leaves a streak of blood across his upper lip. This bodes well.
The woman, clearly his mother, walks over with a loving smile plastered on her face. Her son’s back is to her, as she approaches the sandbox. Cue ominous music. “What have you got there?” she asks, before taking the severed dog paw out of his hands.
[Wing: Honestly, kids and sandboxes are so gross this shouldn’t be a surprise.]
Grabbing her son, she yanks him from the sandbox and warily approaches the fenced-in dog run along side the house, calling for Baxter. Peering into the shadows, she starts screaming, as the camera zooms over the disemboweled remains of a retriever. Yeah, not real thrilled about pet deaths in films but (for me anyway, in this instance) while some of it looks real the rest of it looks totally staged/fake, so I can handle this. Something bad really went after Baxter. There are bloody claw marks all over the front of the dog house, as if something was bound and determined to pull Baxter out.
Amid the woman’s screams, we plunge into the darkness of the doghouse and the credits roll.
[Wing: Such a dramatic swoop into darkness! As anyone who has spent five seconds around here knows, I, too, am not here for pet death in films, particularly dog death, but in some ways, this isn’t as bad as they often are. Part is as bat said, there is a sense of unreality to it, even within the reality of the dead dog in their world. (See the carefully designed death scenes in just a few moments.) Another part is that we know nothing about Baxter. There’s not been a single second for me to bond with the doggo. That helps.]
After the title appears, we hear the sound of an electric garage door then the picture returns. We see a young girl with very long dark hair carrying a plastic gas can, an electric saw, and an extension cord. Oh, and a propane torch. All normal things. There is a lawnmower in the background, as well. As she steps out of the garage, we hear screams and sobs. It’s the woman, fleeing her yard, son in her arms.
“It got our dog! It got Baxter!” she cries, as we are shown there’s quite a bit of activity on the street. Some teen boys are playing street hockey while adults in the neighborhood are working at lawn care and leaf raking. The teen boys pause and look over at the woman but near-instantly dismiss her and return to their game.
Clearly something is not right in Bailey Downs.
The camera moves to a small, scrappy looking dog on a chain, who barks at the screaming woman. “Shut up, Norman.” The dark-haired girl sneers before turning and leaving.
We move to a room with a television, with some very out of focus candles burning in the background, as a pale arm appears in the shot. A large chef knife is being drawn across the wrist but only in practice. A door opens and the dark-haired girl enters. “Baxter’s fertilizer,” she announces, as the other person continues to practice with the chef knife. She bemoans that no one in the neighborhood seems shocked or upset by yet another pet being killed. Apparently whatever is killing the pets should be easily caught, in her opinion.
[Wing: …I mean, as macabre as you are, why haven’t you tried to catch it?]
The camera pans up and we see it’s a teenage redheaded girl with the chef knife. She swears and declares, “wrists are for girls.” Flopping back on the bed, she decides she’ll slit her throat, before suggesting the dark-haired girl should hang.
Even though they haven’t really been introduced on screen, I’m just going to go ahead and say welcome to Brigitte and Ginger Fitzgerald, sisters. Brigitte is the dark-haired younger sister and Ginger is the older, redhead. They are obsessed with death. They have also made a suicide pact.
The film tries to present this is as abnormal, “ooo so spooky” behavior, and maybe it is for most people, but I spent months and months helping “plan” the funeral of a friend in high school because she was so clinically depressed she was fixated on her own suicide. She eventually got better and stopped. It was still not a fun activity. It looks worse as time marches on. But there’s times when you get put in a position where saying something won’t help. I’ve also been put in the position of stopping someone intent on suicide and it was a successful intervention. I think that scarred me worse than the funeral planning.
[Wing: It’s not … hmmm, I’m not sure how I want to say what I’m thinking. The movie shows it as that sort of ~ooooh, dangerous goth stuff, teen witches, satanic music, horror stories corrupt~ etc., without really coming out and saying it.
There’s a lot of suicide talk, but in a way that is removed from reality. Intentionally. This is a criticism of suburbia, that separation from “dangerous” things in the city (see, e.g., white flight analysis), the unreality of ticky-tacky houses and people, tedious lives.
It does that, I think, without undermining the seriousness of suicide ideation, mental health. These girls are being absurd in their rejection of everything they see as a required part of growing older, and we are meant to see this as absurdity as much as the false perfection of Bailey Downs is absurd.] [bat: Well said, Wing.]
Ginger is very… into this. Brigitte has… reservations. Brigitte is afraid everyone will laugh, while Ginger is convinced they will be held in awe, because she believes suicide is the ultimate ‘fuck you’. Personally, I have a lot of strong opinions on suicide, so this part of the film is rough for me to get through (and honestly it has not aged well over the past 22 years.) Ginger reminds Brigitte they made a pact to go together one way or another, all the way back when they were 8. (Gee, when I was 8, I wanted to be a werewolf like professor Tanya Brooks. No lie.)
[Wing: And yet, I am the werewolf fiend.] [bat: Yeah, well, Todd Howard could not hold a candle to David and here we are.]
“Out by sixteen or dead in the scene, but together forever,” Ginger recites, holding up her hand, palm towards Brigitte. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to show the scars they made on their palms; it’s not real clear. Brigitte strongly hesitates to take Ginger’s hand, eventually locking fingers with her sister, and saying “United against life as we know it.”
Yeah, it’s a real bleak, super dark beginning to a film, but it gets… better? I mean, it is a horror movie, so ‘better’ in a relative sense?
[Wing: I quote “Out by sixteen or dead in the scene” an unbelievable amount of times and it is never, ever an actual useful quote. It’s stuck in my head a lot.] [bat: How many times do people recognize it, though? Those people are your people.]
We move outside, to a picket fence, on which Ginger has been impaled. “Too much blood,” Brigitte complains. Ginger flips her sister off and yells at her to just do it. Brigitte snaps the photo (look, it’s an ACTUAL FILM CAMERA, not a smart phone! REMEMBER THOSE?)
The rest of the credits begin to roll over a montage of the sisters in various states of death, all of which are staged for photos: suicide, run over by a car, drowning, stuck in a freezer after being bullied, crushed by a garage door, suicide in a bathtub, suffocated by a Mylar clown balloon, impaled by a garden pitch fork, another dramatic suicide, wrapped in plastic and stuck in a car trunk, Brigitte in a body bag, Ginger run over by that lawn mower I mentioned, pills, having a tea party with bleach and drain cleaner, I’m not sure why I’m listing all these out. I think, personally, there were a lot of people my age at this particular time (early 2000s) that felt that doing shocking shit like this was edgy and a way to prove you weren’t afraid of death and/or embraced darkness. It’s difficult to put into words, especially to people who weren’t around then and have grown up in a post-9/11 social-media-influenced world.
[Wing: It’s very “We are the weirdos, Mister.” (Speaking of a movie we should recap.)] [bat: Yes. Yes, we should.]
We end on a photo of Brigitte having hung herself in the sisters’ bedroom, a note pinned to her chest. We’re now in a school classroom, where the suicide montage has just been viewed by the students. (In my alternative high school, this feels like a film a student would have made but it would never have been allowed to be viewed publicly. Which is saying something, because we produced some wild student films.) As the lights come up, the whole room bursts into whoops and applause. Ginger looks pleased, Brigitte looks apprehensive. The teacher turns around and stares at the sisters.
“Well that was, uh, completely disturbing,” he manages.
He starts to say that the Fitzgerald sisters clearly worked hard on their project, only to announce he is completely sickened by the images and immediately orders them to see him in the guidance office after class. Separately.
(Also, in my alternative arts-centric high school, our teachers learned to put up with A LOT of weird ass shit in the form of photography, videos, and general ‘art’ we made. Bless them. The majority learned the student body had a pretty dark sense of humor and didn’t turn us into the guidance counselor to get ‘help’. Still, a film full of ‘suicides’ probably wouldn’t have gotten shown.)
“Can we see the ones of Ginger again?” one of the teen boys asks, which garners clapping and amused hoots from the other boys. Ginger looks pleased and slightly surprised; Brigitte just pulls her hair over her face to hide.
[Wing: Interesting look at how Ginger is already starting to get, and be curious about, male attention, but obnoxious attention at that, even before she’s bitten.]
Ah! Sports! Girls field hockey, to be exact. (Funny enough that field hockey is the sport of choice in MTV’s Teen Wolf television reboot.) Ginger and Brigitte stand to the side of the field, sharing a cigarette, while the rest of the team runs drills.
On the bleachers, three teenage horndogs are yelling and catcalling and discussing who they’d want to “do”. Ugh. One decides that he wants Ginger. The other two are appalled that he would want a Fitzgerald. Ginger notices and Brigitte declares high school to be a “hormonal toilet” and how she wants to wait it all out in their room. (I honestly agree with this but school was my socialization and now I barely leave the house.)
Ginger is also having mysterious back pain that neither girl can identify the cause of. [Wing: Oh honey. It’s coming.]
Another group of girls standing nearby is comprised of… I guess it’s the popular girls. The Fitzgerald sisters note them and begin to play a game where they basically describe the untimely death of one selected. The “victim” this time is Trina Sinclair, who’s clearly the most out-going and most obnoxious of the popular girls. Another girl wandering behind the Fitzgerald sisters overhears Brigitte and tells Trina. Uh oh.
The coach calls for a line change, which means the Fitzgeralds and the popular girls are being called onto the field. That’s when Brigitte realizes Trina knows they were talking about her. The practice game begins. Trina is out for blood. The boys on the bleachers cat call. Brigitte looks worried. As she runs in towards the ball, Trina body slams her from the side to the ground.
The boys on the bleachers stand up, one saying, “The beast of Bailey Downs strikes again! That’s four dogs this week!” Trina and her friends crowd around, laughing. Trina has pushed Brigitte into the disemboweled corpse of a Rottweiler that was just totally laying on the field and NO ONE FUCKING NOTICED ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
[Wing: Bullshit. No way would that go completely unnoticed. Also, it works better as an insult if there isn’t a dead dog on the field.]
Brigitte chokes back bile as Ginger comes to her side. She manages to hold it down, the coach telling her to go inside and clean up. Ginger stalks over to Trina. “Don’t ever touch my sister again.” “Stop me, freak,” Trina replies, shoving Ginger back. The coach intervenes and I can’t help but think, damn, that girl playing Trina is too damn old to be in high school.
[Wing: She’s only three years older than Katharine Isabelle playing Ginger! Though those can be an important three years.]
In the locker room, Ginger walks in on an janitor giving Brigitte a towel to wipe the blood and gore from her face. After he leaves, she tells Brigitte he was looking down her shirt. She then asks if Brigitte wants her to kill Trina. Brigitte is sullen but asks about torture. “Anything you want,” Ginger promises.
That’s not ominous or anything.
SMASH CUT over to Trina and friends walking around… I don’t know if this is downtown or some kind of park, or what. Somehow, at an unknown point, Trina’s Rottweiler has shown up, because she’s walking it on a leash. Um. Questions? But no answers of course. [Wing: She’s real chill about a dead Rottweiler earlier for someone who fucking has a Rottie.] Brigitte notices and mentions it to Ginger. She hatches a plan to kidnap Trina’s dog and fake its death with props from their slideshow. Ginger is totally down. [Wing: Fair plan, to be honest. I’d destroy anyone who did that with Monster Dog, but still, fair plan.]
Before they head off to put their plan into action, a yellow van speeds into a parking space. The occupant isn’t unknown to the Fitzgeralds, as well as every other teen hanging around. It’s Sam, a local dropout who works for a lawn and garden company, in addition to being the token local weed dealer.
Trina is very obviously obsessed with Sam, asking him repeatedly if he’ll call her and if he has her number. Sam ignores her, hands off the dime bags to the local horndogs, then backs out of the spot. He very clearly stares at Ginger and Brigitte. Brigitte observes but Ginger doesn’t. Trina is still acting a fool to get Sam’s attention as he drives off.
Yeah. Okay. Potential love triangle ahoy?
One of the horndogs, Jason (whom Trina is very much “why did I ever go out with him”?) heads over to catch up to the departing Fitzgerald sisters. He proposes the idea of him and Ginger “getting together”. Ginger is left slack-jawed and near speechless. A few beats later and she manages to say, “No.” before walking off, Brigitte trailing behind her.
Back on their residential street, a neighbor boy is playing with the scruffy rat dog Norman in the driveway. Brigitte snaps a photo with her (ancient) Polaroid camera. She voices concerns that Ginger is interested in Jason’s attention and that she’d rather be dead then be without Ginger. Yeah, this sisterly relationship is way beyond that healthy level of co-dependence. [Wing: And yet it has fewer incest vibes than so many of the stories we’ve covered on this site!]
Ginger teasingly pushes her sister, and that’s when we’re introduced to Pamela Fitzgerald, the girls’ mother. She admonishes Ginger and tries to show her daughters a bunch of flowers she has in the back of her car. Both girls ignore her and go inside.
Norman is still hanging from the hockey stick clenched in his teeth. Look, any time an animal is shown that much, you know it’s not going to end well.
At dinner, father Fitzgerald has joined his wife and daughters for the evening meal. Pamela notices Ginger rubbing her back. “It hurts,” Ginger snaps (…see what I did there…) [Wing: I snorted.] back at her mother, before making a smart ass comment about how pain works. Her mother sees through this and the explanation of Ginger hurting her back while making the slideshow. As the pointed questions continue, Brigitte seems to catch on faster then Ginger.
Pamela gets so excited. “Do you think it’s cramps??” Ginger chokes on her piece of bread. Henry, father Fitzgerald, is all “We’re eating!” And that’s when Pamela goes into a very long explanation that both girls are ‘three years late’, meaning neither have gotten their first periods, and she is SUPER CONCERNED and how IT IS NOT NORMAL. Um. [Wing: Erm. They’re not twins. How are they both three years late? (In double checking age stuff, I learned that Emily Perkins is four years older than Isabelle. Damn, she pulled off looking like a younger sister in this movie.)] [bat: Yeah, I was really impressed when I learned that. She has a way of physically making herself smaller, younger, and seemingly weaker. Great acting!]
Ginger tries to brush her off but Pamela charges ahead about how periods are not scary and SO NORMAL and even I want to punch Pamela at this point. The conversation dissolves into the girls naming scary alternative conditions Ginger might have, Pamela wrongly admonishing Henry, and Ginger giving her mother major attitude until she is sent to her room. Brigitte, of course, is immediately out of her chair and shadowing her older sister. “You are not connected at the wrist!” Pamela objects as the girls leave.
And the last shot is Pamela announcing that she and Henry have counseling and she doesn’t want the girls to leave the house because a “wild animal” is still on the loose. Poor Henry. Divorce would probably do him good. Henry points out that the girls never go out. His wife berates him again, before we smash cut to – what do you know – the girls are OUTSIDE!
[Wing: Clear evidence that Henry knows nothing about his daughters, because they are outside often enough with their death scenes, etc.]
They’re putting plan “Steal Trina’s Dog” into action. Ginger carrying the bag of entrails while Brigitte carries her Polaroid. Yet again Brigitte has concerns and lists off all the cons of this venture. Ginger is nonplussed and sallies forward. If the dog isn’t out, Brigitte needs to distract Trina, an option to which Brigitte objects. “If you don’t like your ideas, stop having them.” Ginger berates her younger sister. Gee, I think berating people runs in the family.
The sisters reach a wooden play structure where, naturally, they come across YET ANOTHER DEAD DOG. What is wrong with the people in this fucking subdivision, leaving their dogs unsupervised and unprotected!? [Wing: I’d say it’s shocking but I also know plenty of people who leave pets out in places with non-werewolf predators where there are plenty of pet deaths because of it. People suck.] Ginger is ecstatic, because the dead dog is, er, was a Rottweiler, so they can leave the corpse at Trina’s to freak her out. Uh huh. There’s literally no head left, so Ginger directs Brigitte to take a leg.
That’s when Brigitte notes (ominously, fatefully) that the dog’s body is still warm. [Wing: I love this sort of scene in any story. OMGIT’SSTILLWARM.]
Attempting to move the remains, a leg comes off in Brigitte’s hand. She drops it, grossed out. The plan comes to a halt since moving the remains isn’t an option. “You’ve got some on you,” Brigitte tells Ginger.
Nope. I don’t think so. Considering the blood is running down the inside of her thigh, under her skirt.
Ginger immediately realizes and you can see the panic in her eyes. “B, I just got The Curse.”
“Ew,” Brigitte is so helpful.
Going on a rant about “simpering around tampon machines and moaning about PMS”, Ginger basically reacts to getting her period like myself and most of my female friends. That’s when one of the horse things bounces and the spring squeaks, drawing the sisters’ attention.
“Let’s get out of here,” Brigitte says, turning away just as Ginger is attacked by a werewolf.
It moves so fast, dragging Ginger off towards the nearby woods, that Brigitte doesn’t have time to see or react, plus she falls down facing away from the scene, leaving her terrified and alone. She stops and listens, hearing a low howl and her sister’s screams, before she runs into the woods.
These aren’t dense woods; there seems to be some kind of a trail and they backup against a row of houses. Porch lights are suddenly being turned on, occupants clearly having heard Ginger and Brigitte screaming. But no, that’s not true. It’s just motion detectors turning on the lights, which briefly flare up before winking out. Brigitte is left in the dark, still hearing her sister’s screams. Actually, it’s quite terrifying.
That’s when Ginger comes running out of no where, tackling Brigitte to the ground, screaming incoherently. She doesn’t have time to do anything else before the werewolf drags her away again. It doesn’t get very far, as Ginger is trying to fight back. Brigitte witnesses the beast slash its claws over her sister’s thigh as well as bite her several places. Gaining some of her wits back, Brigitte begins to bash the werewolf with her Polaroid.
Eventually Ginger falls free of its teeth just as the Polaroid goes off in the werewolf’s face, a brilliant flash blinding it temporarily. Both girls get to their feet, Ginger now soaked in blood, and start running for their lives. See, it’s all fun and games to imagine killing yourself, but when some… thing… is trying to kill you, it stops being fun and games.
Running through the woods, the Fitzgerald sisters make it to a road. Ginger falls down, Brigitte half dragging her up to her feet, both running directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Startled by the honking of a horn, the girls stumble out of the way just as the werewolf jumps into the street…
…only to be immediately run over by a familiar looking yellow van.
The werewolf is road pizza, splatter from here to kingdom come. The girls, laying on the side of the road, stare incomprehensibly. The van driver stops, the whole front bumper and windshield dripping with gallons of blood, the driver looking dazed. [Wing: Understandably.] Brigitte gets Ginger up and both girls run off.
Van driver Sam gets out, a couple of joints falling onto the pavement, as he walks back to survey whatever the fuck he just hit. We can’t really see the corpse but one of the hand/paws curls feebly. Uh, is it not dead??
Not that it matters, because back at the Fitzgerald home, Brigitte is dragging a clearly dying Ginger through the house, screaming for their (absent) parents. Getting Ginger on her bed, Brigitte tries to assess the damages. Ginger doesn’t want her to, “it hurts, it burns”, and she wants to know what the hell it was. “A big dog, maybe?” Brigitte, c’mon. IT WAS OBVIOUSLY A YETI. [Wing: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OH MY GOD.] [bat: I BROUGHT IT BACK AROUND!]
We see Ginger has also been clawed across the front of her shoulder, as Brigitte says maybe it was a bear, because there’s been cases of bears coming after girls because they can smell when they’re “on the rag”. That’s so helpful. Ginger doesn’t buy it, either.
Stop sticking your fingers into your sister’s wounds, Brigitte.
“It’s not possible. They’re already healing,” Brigitte is taken aback, threatening to call emergency services, until Ginger stops her. Ginger honestly seems remarkably recovered from being in a complete state of shock and near death five seconds ago to coherent and forcefully taking charge of the situation. Making that werewolf mojo work for you aren’t you, Ginger!
Brigitte clings to her sister, Ginger hugging her back, as reality sets in. Later, we see Ginger curled up with her head in Brigitte’s lap as Brigitte attempts to dislodge the photograph from the busted Polaroid. Succeeding, she realizes she has a photograph of the werewolf’s face. Well, partially. It’s clearly not a dog, and is rather pale for what one would traditionally think of a werewolf looking like. Also, no one will ever believe Brigitte if she tries to show them that photo.
It’s basically like in Jaws II, where there’s a photograph of the shark’s eye and no one takes it seriously until it’s too damn late.
Back in school, Brigitte takes notes during a film strip in Biology, one about viruses destroying healthy cells. Or something. Glancing over at Ginger, Brigitte watches her sister face plant into the desk top. Yeah, I’d say she’s not doing so well.
[Wing: Lessons are always so useful and well-timed.]
Smash cut to Brigitte looking up at an imposing wall of feminine hygiene products. [Wing: Don’t blame her for staring. To this day, that damn wall of product is overwhelming, and I’ve been using the same type of product, if in different brands, for years and years.] She grabs a box of tampons that come with a free calendar, Ginger moving into frame looking like walking death. Brigitte doesn’t buy that Ginger’s pain is “just cramps”.
“Just so you know, the words ‘just cramps’ do not go together,” Ginger snaps. (I am going to keep doing that, not sorry.) [Wing: And I laugh every single time, have no fear.]
Oh how fortunate that horndog Jason is at the register, checking out. He notes what Ginger is buying and gives a little speech about how he has three sisters at home and a little toke always takes the edge off. Okay, sure, for some I would bet it does. But Ginger isn’t having it. “Maybe I like my edge,” Ginger glares at Jason.
“Maybe you’re just chicken to lose it,” Jason quips. Wow, that line can be interpreted SO MANY WAYS.
Well, that did it. Leaving Brigitte to cart the box of tampons around in a plastic bag, Ginger has joined Jason in the yellow van with the other horndogs, to smoke some weed. While Ginger gets praised for joining in, Brigitte is more interested in the incredibly obvious front end damage the van is sporting. There’s still faint blood spatter. Someone didn’t do much of a cleanup job. Someone clearly does not watch Forensic Files.
Sam appears behind Brigitte, startling her. He gives her a price, she declines drugs, he tells her to leave. She doesn’t, pressing for answers about what Sam hit. Sam, oh Sam, pulls a bottle of liquor out of the van and takes a swig before answering.
“It looked like a LYCANTHROPE TO ME, SIR.”
Oh! How shocking! Sam isn’t stupid!
“Think you see werewolves a lot?” Brigitte asks, getting Sam’s full attention. (He was betting she didn’t know what lycanthrope meant.) [Wing: On the one hand, I love Sam for just throwing it all out there. On the other hand, fuck off with that smarter than thou bullshit.] Their chat and the plot advancement is interrupted when Sam realizes the horndogs and Ginger are in the back of his van smoking weed. (Also, the weed has done nothing to Ginger, except she no longer cares about the pain…. or anything… Well, maybe it did something then.) Sam tells them all to get out of his van. The boys go first, but unfortunately no one is fast enough, because here’s Trina and her dog. She’s unhappy to see Ginger anywhere near Sam, insulting Ginger, Ginger quipping back an insult.
And that’s when Trina’s dog goes nuts, barking and snarling at Ginger.
Everything happens fast. No one seems to know what to do about the dog; Brigitte drops her metal notebook, spilling her papers and the Polaroid on the ground. Ginger, staring at the dog, suddenly kicks it in the face. Trina freaks out, Sam comes over to assess the dog, and the Fitzgerald sisters flee.
Smash cut to what I’m assuming is the girls restroom in the school, Brigitte stands outside the stalls and berates Ginger, saying more is going on than just getting her period. When she gets no answer from Ginger, Brigitte bursts into the stall to find her sister standing there, the claw marks on her shoulder visibly healed and sprouting… white fur. [Wing: Such a cool fucking visual.]
Ginger is worried about having a hairy chest. I think this goes way beyond that.
Neither girl seems to know what to do but Brigitte starts piecing it together. She points out that Ginger was bitten on a full moon and is now sporting hair. Ginger gets angry and dismisses the notion, both girls pausing to note a large puddle of blood on the floor between Ginger’s feet.
“What if I’m dying??” Ginger worries.
“We gotta see the nurse,” Brigitte insists. Whose visibly pregnant and super chipper, saying it just seems like a lot of blood – “It’s a period!” — while a helpful chart on the wall displays the female reproductive organs. We learn that Ginger is nearly 16, Brigitte just turned 15, and Brigitte skipped a grade. Neither of them has ever had a period. (Also, Irish twins!) [Wing: Neither of them are even sixteen, Mother Fitzgerald, maybe calm the fuck down about their periods being late.]
The nurse goes on to describe the menstrual cycle and here’s where I remember back in high school when we didn’t want this particularly disgusting male classmate to sit with our group at lunch, we would start talking about the most disgusting parts of periods to gross him out. I don’t think we ever actually succeeded in making him leave but he was certainly put off eating a time or two.
In the wise words of Ygritte, “Girls see more blood than boys.” This dovetails nicely with the nurse telling the Fitzgerald sisters they can except this to happen roughly every 28 days, “for the next thirty years.” (Also: no shit. Ugh.)
Brigitte asks about “hair that wasn’t there” and pain. Way to leave out the werewolf bite part, Brigitte. The nurse says that comes with the territory and hands each sister a condom. Yeah. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to stop the spread of lycanthropy.
[Wing: … or will it.]
Back at the Fitzgerald home, Pamela is doing the laundry. She comes upon a pair of absolutely blood-soaked underwear. She stares at it, stares off into space, and instead of doing THE SENSIBLE THING, she reaches for the Spray ‘n Wash and liberally coats the blood stain with the stuff. Like how fucking cheap are you, woman!? THERE’S NO SAVING THOSE!
Smash cut to dinner. Brigitte is using utensils and picking at her food. Ginger is using her fingers and chowing down. “Wish these were babies legs,” she whispers to her sister. Brigitte has the decency to look horrified, probably because she knows her sister is a goddamn werewolf who would most certainly chomp on children.
Pamela prances in from the kitchen bearing an angel food cake topped with whipped cream and oozing, bloody red strawberries. This is a celebration! Ginger is a woman now! (Oh god, I hate this kind of shit. I’m sorry, it is absolutely not for me. You wanna celebrate, go ahead, leave me out.) She tells Ginger she can ask her anything. Ginger looks aghast and immediately blames Brigitte for telling. Brigitte, of course, denies it, because she didn’t tell Pamela anything. (Didn’t have to, you left your filthy panties to be collected, you twit.)
Henry, holding a glass of wine, looks like he needs a whole bottle of the stuff.
Post-dinner, the sisters argue. Ginger still blames Brigitte and believes she’s overreacting. “So I’ve got weird hairs, and so what?” They continue to argue about what happened; Brigitte defends her belief that Ginger was bitten by a werewolf. Ginger counters that she did not turn into a dog and howl at the moon the previous night. She pauses to yell at Norman, who is barking his ratty little head off.
Ginger points out there was no silver bullet. Whatever attacked her was killed by a truck. Brigitte points out that Ginger has changed, suddenly doing drugs with the horndogs. Ginger counters she sees the real monster: jealousy has consumed Brigitte.
Oh boy. Way to kick your one and only ally, Ginger.
The next day, in the playhouse in the back yard, Brigitte notes the full moon and uses the free calendar from the box of tampons to map Ginger’s transformation. [Wing: This is a nicely used Chekhov’s calendar.] She studies books and movies on werewolves, taking copious notes. Clearly she is preparing for what is to come, and what she might be forced to do. Brigitte finds a razor full of white hairs and a can of shaving cream. Before she can investigate more, Ginger is pounding on the bathroom door, demanding Brigitte get out so she can get ready.
Gone are the baggy sweaters and layers of clothing to hide her body. Ginger struts into the school hallway showing off her assets, growing ever more confident as the cat calls and wolf whistles fill the hall. She’s also sporting two long white streaks in her red hair. Jason and the other horndogs cannot believe what they’ve witnessed.
[Wing: Ginger’s werewolf transformation (human version, not shapeshifting version) is hot as hell. Also an example of when women become werewolves, they become sexual predators to be feared and put down, men become pathetic, if dangerous, creatures to be saved if possible, stopped if not, but always pitied.] [bat: Especially if you are a male werewolf who was bitten and turned by a fucking YETI.]
Brigitte, on the other hand, stares forlornly after her sister. Yep, it sucks, being the unlikely voice of reason and seeing the undeniable truth, Brigitte.
Outside, Brigitte watches from the bleachers as Ginger flirts and gets physically aggressive with Jason, throwing him to the ground and crawling atop him. The younger Fitzgerald finally has enough and leaves, where she is stopped by Sam, who has collected her metal note book full of notes and that suspicious Polaroid.
He tells her he’s spent a week of his life trying to track her down. (OKAY I HAVE QUESTIONS, HOW DOES TIME WORK IN THIS FILM WHY CAN NOBODY USE TIME CORRECTLY IN FILMS AND CARTOONS?!) [Wing: We need to get to another full moon somehow, I guess.] Considering he’s the local weed dealer to the high school, the high school Brigitte attends, how he didn’t notice her sooner is beyond reason. Showing her the Polaroid, he admits they both saw what they saw but he wants to know what it was. Then Sam goes on some weird rant about being booked into rubber rooms for being mentally fucked up (sigh) and Brigitte tells him he’s not crazy.
That’s when Sam busts out that what he hit was an animal but what came after the animal died in the road — specifically the “circumcised human dick” [Wing: ahahahahahahaha, I love this.] — is the part he wants answers to. Seems the werewolf shifted back to human form post-mortem. Bummer. Brigitte takes her stuff and bolts. Sam still doesn’t know her name.
Apparently time passes swiftly, because now Brigitte is under the covers, using a flashlight to read the calendar and mark off yet another day. It seems like we’re down to the ten days in October, with the full moon coming up on the 30th. Which she has circled in red. It would have been hilarious if it was a Blood Moon. [Wing: October 2000’s full moon was a Friday the 13th, at least. Though, if it’s on the 30th, we’re just scraping at two full moons in October, the first the Harvest Moon and this second the Hunters’ Blue Moon. I know that can happen when the full moon falls on Oct 31, but Oct 30 might push the first moon into September.]
Sneaking over to her sister’s bed in the dark, still using the flashlight, Brigitte pulls back the covers. Ginger is sawing logs. Carefully, Brigitte pulls down the back of Ginger’s panties… and finds a nub of a tail growing out of her sister’s spine. SHOCKER! [Wing: I am dying. Love this sort of slow burn werewolf transformation.]
Now Brigitte is confronting Sam in a greenhouse, and whatever she’s said Sam doesn’t buy. But he stops her and although she makes him swear not to tell anyone, she panics and decides to tell him she, herself, is changing. So basically she’s covering for Ginger. Sam believes her. (Oh Sam, you idiot.)
He tells her to forget Hollywood rules aka silver bullets, since they both know his van killed the first werewolf. Sam suggests there has to be a cure or there would be more werewolves running around. Brigitte hypothesizes that it’s a virus, changing the victim from the inside out. Sam likes this theory.
Sam wants her to hold off on a “morality call” and suggests using silver, since when he “started piercing shit” all his piercings became infected until he used pure silver jewelry. Um, I’m not sure how a silver piercing would cure you of being a werewolf but that’s where this is headed. Giving her one of his earrings, Sam and Brigitte share a moment where it seems like they’re pretty nerdy about history and lore. Aww.
Back at school, Trina tells Brigitte to get a leash for her “slut sister”, while the other popular assholes laugh. Ginger is basically making out with Jason beside his shit-brown-coloured Volvo. Ugh. Brigitte manages to interrupt but when Ginger doesn’t get the apology she believes she deserves, she tells Jason they should go. Jason is ecstatic. Brigitte leans down and bangs on the window: “She’s ovulating!” The gathered crowd bursts into laughter.
At home, Pamela gives Brigitte a piece of cake that has gooey red ooze smeared over the top of it. Um, ew. She admonishes Brigitte, saying maybe if Ginger felt she could share her feelings and thoughts with her sister, she’d be around more. Um, what? They were glued at the hip in the first part of the film and now the mother thinks it’s Brigitte’s fault?? Then she tells Brigitte, “your turn’s coming, too!” God, Pamela is one of the worst film mother’s ever.
Over in the shit-brown-coloured Volvo, things are getting hot and heavy in the back seat. We hear a growl; Ginger explains it away as her stomach. Clothes start coming off. Ginger gets aggressive and Jason tries to rein her in a bit. Too much to handle, huh, Jason? Ginger notes that he tastes really good. Uh oh. Jason tells her to lie back and relax. Um, excuse me? Ginger counters he should lie back and relax. “Who’s the guy here?” Jason quips.
DUDE. DIE. JUST DIE.
That’s when Ginger pounces and pins him, ignoring his cries and protests of needing protection as she rips open his shirt. We see Ginger’s spine become twisted and pronounced. Not a good sign. Then she bites the fuck out of Jason’s neck as he screams.
[Wing: See? Werewolf women as sexual predators, here even going so far as rape. Thanks, I hate it. (Though I do love this movie.)]
Brigitte wakes as Ginger comes in their room, quietly weeping. Brigitte inquires what happened and assumes Jason hurt Ginger, that she should tell someone, but when she reaches for her sister, Ginger runs into the bathroom. Turning on a light, Brigitte realizes her hand is covered in blood, hearing her sister retching into the toilet.
Kicking in the door, Brigitte finds Ginger puking up blood, babbling that something is really wrong. Her hair has more white streaks now and she’s sporting some seriously pointy finger nails. Brigitte kneels and demands to know what happened. Ginger explains that she thought she wanted sex but the ache inside is to tear things apart. Things being anything meat, I would suppose. Brigitte inquires as to Jason’s whereabouts. “Next door,” Ginger answers.
Brigitte climbs the fence next door to find…
“Oh my god, you killed Norman!”
Ginger explains Norman wouldn’t stop barking and she couldn’t help herself. Clearly dogs are the first line of defense against werewolves and these humans are failing to pay attention. [Wing: Bring the dogs inside, damn it! There are so many terrible people in this town you can leave out as a werewolf gift instead.] [bat: That’s it, I’m going to tell the clingy dog I house sit for that if he doesn’t behave, I’m leaving him out as a ‘werewolf gift’. (I would not actually do it, just threaten.)] Ginger asks Brigitte what she’s supposed to do. Which leads to Brigitte heating a hollow needle over a candle flame to pierce Ginger’s navel with. Time to try out Sam’s silver earring and see if pure metals “purify the blood”.
While waiting, Ginger explains her first sexual encounter to Brigitte, complaining there’s squirming and squealing and “then he’s done and you’re like ‘oh’.” She continues on lamenting that Jason will be seen as a hero by his buddies and peers while Ginger will be considered a lay and a slut, in addition to being seen as a freak.
Brigitte inquires if there was a condom. Ginger says no. Brigitte now has more concerns.
Ready to attempt the piercing, Brigitte jams the needle into the skin of Ginger’s navel. Ginger thrashes and grabs onto the metal headboard. The needle is stuck. Or is it because Ginger heals any wounds hyper fast? Brigitte continues to try and force the needle through. Ginger throws her head back and we see her teeth have all become pointed and sharp. Brigitte finally gets the needle through and the silver hoop into place. Ginger stops thrashing.
“How do you feel?”
Brigitte knows the silver has done nothing, watching her sister play with the piercing, Ginger’s nails clearly talons now. So much for Sam’s theory!
The next day, on-brand ice hockey loving kid walks a bowl of kibble out into the yard, calling for Norman. I love that he’s just wearing his helmet and ice skates with the blade protectors on, just walking round on the bricks and grass like it’s nothing. (I have never been ice skating and due to shitty ankles, I know I would fall on my ass immediately.) I’m sorry, buddy, but you’re in for a nasty shock. He suddenly finds the remains of Norman and his jaw drops, along with the bowl of kibble. In a wide shot of the rows of houses, we can hear his distant wail. RIP Norman.
Back at school, on the field hockey, er, field, most of the girls are playing a practice game. Viewers return inside to the girls’ locker room, slowly panning down the rows of blue metal lockers, as though we’re creeping up on someone. Which is true. Turning a corner, we find Brigitte wrapping black electrical tape around Ginger’s thigh, taping her growing tail down. Not sure that’s really gonna work, but here we are. [Wing: This scene makes me laugh every time. They’re trying!] Brigitte looks extremely worried as Ginger hikes her pants back up.
The sisters have returned to the field, standing on the sidelines. Over in the bleachers, the horndogs are already calling comments. Jason enters the bleachers, looking extremely worse for wear. His face has several wounds. He is asked what happened. “Ginger Fitzgerald… rocked my world.” He answers as the others laugh. One asks if she gave him ‘the rag’ too. Looking down, we see a spot of blood on the front of Jason’s pants. Uh oh. Jason swears and high tails out of there. His horndog friends just laugh.
A wild Sam appears! He tosses his joint into the grass and whistles, getting Trina’s attention instead. She runs over as Sam raises a hand and waves, calling for Brigitte, resulting in Ginger’s attention as well. Both sisters seem shocked to see him, and Trina is equally disappointed/upset. Ginger asks if Brigitte got a boyfriend. Brigitte excuses herself and hurries over to Sam; Trina cannot believe Sam is showing any interest in the Fitzgerald sisters. I SMELL A FIGHT A’BREWIN’.
Sam rushes out that if silver didn’t work he has another theory. Brigitte ignores him, asking if he’s currently high on drugs, because she is currently in class. Sam is in disbelief and turns to leave. Brigitte says she’ll come and see him later. Sam leaves and Brigitte stomps back to the sidelines. The horndogs comment that the sisters are “really getting around”.
Back beside Ginger, Brigitte tries to explain that she told Sam she was the one bitten. Ginger accuses her sister of telling the secret to the first fuck-up that comes along. Brigitte says Sam knows “stuff” and wants to help. Not so sure after your reaction to him seconds ago, Brigitte. Both sisters enter the field, their turn at play up. Ginger says Sam just wants to get in Brigitte’s pants. Trina chimes in, saying sluts run in the Fitzgerald family. Remember that fight I said was coming?
Play begins and Brigitte runs after the ball (is it a ball? I honestly don’t know anything about field hockey.) and Trina runs to defend, and they get in a bit of a shoving match until Brigitte falls to the grass. Ginger stares and the camera zooms in on her as she explodes and runs, body slamming into Trina, who starts screaming. Horndogs and other spectators look up, incredulous. Ginger is atop Trina, punching her in the face, as the rest of the girls crowd around. Brigitte screams for Ginger to stop, Trina continues to squeal like a pig, and the coach begins to wade into the mess.
[Wing: I was honestly expecting this the first time they tangled, and so I loved it here. Of course.]
Pulling Ginger off Trina, the coach orders her to the office. Ginger’s hands are bloodied and I swear she licks some of it off. Brigitte follows in Ginger’s wake as Trina wails and wipes at her bloodied nose.
Inside, in the guidance counselor’s office, Ginger is receiving a stern lecture that Brigitte can only hear muffled through the door, as she stands outside. I think she’s afraid Ginger might eat Mr Wayne.
In the boys’ bathroom, Jason approaches the urinal. It’s normal pee until it suddenly runs red. Jason starts to scream. He stumbles out of the bathroom, clutching his crotch to hide the blood, but forgot it’s all over his hands which makes it even more visible. Dude. Dude. Fucking wash your hands, okay! Brigitte appears in his path and Jason screams at her. He insists his red pen exploded. Sure. Brigitte knows the werewolf virus is spreading.
[Wing: Bleeding from the dick is an interesting werewolf symptom.]
Now out of the guidance counselor’s office, Ginger is asking where Brigitte’s camera is. Brigitte stops short and lectures her sister for having unprotected sex and passing the lycanthropy on to Jason. “Oops?” Ginger is not concerned one lick. [Wing: Maybe you should have held onto those condoms from before.] Brigitte seems shocked how little her sister cares. She needs to see Sam. Ginger insists they go. Brigitte retorts that Ginger has to behave, because if Sam finds out she lied… Brigitte can’t bring herself to name what Ginger is turning into. “A monster? A freak?” Ginger suggests. Brigitte wants Sam’s help. Ginger says she’ll behave. Note that she doesn’t promise.
Over at the greenhouse, the sisters Fitzgerald walk down to the quarters Sam has made for himself. Ginger is treating it like a catwalk, strutting her stuff. Sam opens the door, joint in mouth. Brigitte apologizes for earlier. She didn’t want their conversation overheard. Ginger puts her arm around her sister and says Brigitte’s been a little moody lately. Really convincing sell here, considering Ginger is sporting sharp teeth and possible fangs, along with white streaks in her hair.
Sam wasn’t expecting company. Brigitte explains Ginger ‘knows’ about her condition. Ginger, meanwhile, just barges in. Sam gives up and invites Brigitte in as well. Ginger immediately finds Sam’s grow operation; Sam tells her to get the fuck out. He explains to Brigitte that he looked into homeopathic treatments, showing her a encyclopedia entry on Aconitum or Monkshood. “Lyco as in wolf?” Brigitte questions, reading the information. Sam explains it is a cousin to wolfsbane but it is “safe in small doses”. I dunno, I’m pretty sure I read POISONOUS when they showed the page.
Something something, super detox, promotes white blood cell count. Uh huh. Brigitte deduces it fights infection. Unfortunately, although it is a perennial and grows everywhere, it only does so in the Spring. It is decidedly not Spring, being October. From Sam’s bed, where Ginger jumped onto, Ginger complains that there’s no time to wait for Sam’s attempt at growing some. She insists Brigitte is fucked, having already killed a dog and purporting that Brigitte is growing a tail.
Sam’s stunned. He wants answers. I’m surprised NO ONE is looking at the shape of Ginger’s teeth. [Wing: Sam is a little bit of an idiot. As is everyone else, apparently.] Brigitte falsely confesses to growing a tail. Ginger starts in on Sam, implying he just wants to sleep with Brigitte, reminding him she’s 15. Brigitte snaps at her sister, telling her to wait outside. Ginger snaps (I did it again!) back at Brigitte, saying if Sam rapes her, don’t cry about it, and that she’s going home. Ginger stomps off. Brigitte excuses her sister by saying “she’s just freaking.”
I mean, Sam may be stoned but he can’t be oblivious to the physical changes Ginger is sporting. Instead of saying anything, Sam just insists he does not think of Brigitte “that way”. Great, Sam. Just great.
Back at home, Ginger is shaving her legs. There is a lot of blood. Mostly because she is having to shave out the clumps of fur and is nicking herself all to hell. Giving up, she slams her foot into the title wall. Suddenly she notices a dew claw (???) growing out of the side of her ankle bone, having punctured the skin. HOW WOULD YOU NOT FEEL THAT.
Suddenly the bathroom door opens. It’s Pamela, informing Ginger that Henry’s battery is dead and does she want to go for a ride? I wish I had captions, I didn’t understand half of that. Ginger fumbles to pull the shower curtain closed, asking why her mother can’t knock. “Don’t you Jesus me! You don’t have anything I haven’t seen before!” Pamela insists. MOTHER OF THE YEAR AWARD.
[Wing: Psh, personal space and privacy, who needs that?]
Ginger says that’s what Pamela thinks, to which Pamela questions her daughter. Ginger insists she’s just fat (ugh) and tells her mother to get out. Pamela notices fashion magazines and informs her daughter all models are on ‘speed’ to look the way they do. Ginger screams at Pamela to get out. It comes out very strongly, so much so that Pamela actually takes note. She leaves. Ginger slips into the water and looks like she’s freaking out.
Outside, in the dark, Brigitte is heading home, cutting through the yard. Trina appears, nose red and swollen and sporting a bandage on her temple, demanding her dog be returned. Brigitte insists she doesn’t have the rottweiler. Ginger is watching through the window, as Trina insists she saw Ginger take her dog. Suddenly Trina switches tracks, insisting that “he doesn’t like you”, meaning Sam, insisting he’s a “cherry hound”. Brigitte ignores her, informing Trina she’s bleeding and to go home. Trina says not to give Sam the satisfaction. Trina begins to meltdown, Brigitte urging her to go home.
Suddenly Ginger appears and grabs Trina in a headlock, pulling her to the ground. Brigitte asks what Ginger’s doing. Ginger tells her to call Sam and ask, since he’s the pro. Trina wails and tries to beat Ginger with her hands, unable to get free. Now Ginger has pushed Trina through the open sliding door, into the house, knocking stuff off the counters in the kitchen while holding her hand over Trina’s mouth. Brigitte follows.
Brigitte tries to diffuse the situation as Ginger smacks Trina in the forehead repeatedly, telling her to shut up. This is going well. You have zero handle on this situation, Brigitte. Ginger is angry and insists that Brigitte has chosen Sam over her, her own sister, and whatever happens to Trina is Brigitte’s fault. Ginger rips the silver hoop free of her navel, saying that whatever Sam’s advice is, it isn’t working. The divide between the sisters is greater than ever, with Ginger experiencing things Brigitte never will.
This is when Trina begins to vomit. Ew. Ginger moves her to the sink, Trina takes a chance and pushes away, grabbing a kitchen knife from the block. Ginger and Brigitte back away, Brigitte intensely horrified by the situation, as Ginger begins to downplay everything she said about Trina seconds ago. Trina screams at them both, wielding the knife. Her foot slips on the spilled container of milk and she goes down, catching her head on the corner of the kitchen island.
“Uh oh,” Ginger stammers, looking at Trina’s dying body. She kneels and rolls Trina on her back, a pool of blood pouring out to mix with the milk. Brigitte is well and truly horrified. Both sisters hear the garage door open; their parents have returned. Brigitte demands Ginger get up, as Ginger sits and studies Trina’s blood (and dead body?) in fascination.
Pamela and Henry enter. Pamela sees the body on the floor, the massive blood pool, and swears. It’s only Ginger! Brigitte runs in and snaps a photo, the flash going off, before Ginger sits up and smiles, blood on her face and hands. Pamela snaps that she told the girls no more death in the house. Ginger tells Pamela not to be mad, it’s just extra credit! Pamela whirls away, saying she wants it cleaned up. Henry steps forward, staring in shock. Ginger holds out her hand, bloodied. She says it’s corn syrup! Does he wants some?
[Wing: Damn quick thinking, really.]
Brigitte shakes her head just a fraction. Henry says nothing. Pamela, exasperated, says she’s going to put the meat away. Brigitte rushes after their mother, saying she’ll do it, unable to stop Pamela from going to the freezer chest. Pamela opens it, ready to put some ground beef in. Brigitte gets her attention. The audience sees Trina’s body, already beginning to freeze, thrown in on top of the frozen foods. Unable to think of anything logical, Brigitte stammers: “What do guys want?”
Pamela pauses, then smiles, throws the ground beef in, and shuts the freezer lid. Brigitte clears one hurdle! Pamela is so glad Brigitte asked her this specific question, she hugs her youngest daughter. We cut to Pamela and Brigitte sitting on the couch, milk and cookies on the coffee table, Pamela reasserting that “that’s what men want”. Brigitte hides behind her hair. Apparently men are all the same. Ginger agrees. Apparently she’s been subjected to this motherly wisdom seminar as well.
As soon as Pamela leaves, having told her daughters to go to bed since it’s a school night and they need “beauty rest”, Ginger and Brigitte duck out to the freezer chest and open it. Trina’s body has had plenty of time to full freeze over and stick to the contents of the freezer chest. I have questions. Brigitte sends Ginger for a screwdriver. They’re going to have to chip Trina’s corpse out of the deep freeze.
Stabbing the ice a few times, we hear a sickening crack, and Brigitte leans back, bringing two of Trina’s fingers with her. Oops. We smash cut to Ginger and Brigitte carrying Trina’s corpse, wrapped in a carpet or blankets, out into the back yard. Up in the parents’ bedroom, Pamela is oblivious to her daughters’ carrying a desecrated corpse, spending the time looking for a magazine article that explains why daughters date dummies. [Wing: Look to the mother first?]
Henry voices his suspicions. Pamela insists they’re normal teenage girls. “Then why are they suddenly so interested in what you have to say?” I wish I could say Henry is the actual parent here but he’s not. He’s just suspicious. Pamela gives her husband a look and tells him to stay in his own little world because clearly a woman’s world confuses him.
Out in the shed, flashlight beams show in the windows. The sisters have transported Trina’s partially thawed remains – we can see the gaping, bloodless wound in her left hand where her fingers broke off – and are digging a hasty grave. Or, more correctly, Ginger is digging while Brigitte holds the torch. Ginger finds worms, reminiscing she used to make Brigitte eat them to gain access to the shed. Brigitte is silent, not even looking at her sister.
Ginger quits digging, stating that no one thinks “chicks do shit like this”. Meaning what? Murder? She goes further, stating there are only a handful of stereotypes a woman can be in the world: slut, tease, bitch, or the virgin next door. They’re just coast on “how the world works”. Sure. Sure. Tell yourself that, Ginger.
Laying in the dirt next to Trina’s corpse, Ginger asks Brigitte if she thinks Trina is pretty. Brigitte counters by asking if Ginger was alone with the body, would she eat it? Ginger laughs, saying no, it would be like necrophilia. Brigitte informs her sister that she cannot go out anymore; Ginger says she’ll go mental if she has to stay in. I would say they have reached an impasse but Brigitte has already planned to make their parents think Ginger is in school, while making the school believe Ginger is out sick. Then they will leave and head as far away as possible.
Great idea on paper. Executing said plan, probably impossible.
We are shown Trina’s snapped off fingers laying in the grass outside. Oops. That’s sloppy, girls.
Someone staples a paper poster to a fence. It’s a MISSING flyer, with Trina’s smiling face plastered on it. Uh oh. Again, yet another time jump? Yep. She’s been missing since October 24th. We must be real close to the 30th. Remember what’s gonna happen on the 30th!
At school, which is decorated with orange and black crepe paper (I dare you to not say “creep-y paper!”) and balloons. Over the PA, it is announced that certain students will be paged to come to the office to speak with police about Trina’s disappearance. Brigitte is busy writing a note of absence, mimicking her mother’s handwriting. Horndogs lament Trina, one saying she’s dead, obviously. HOW MANY DAYS HAVE PASSED?
Brigitte walks through some double doors, stops, and then is grabbed by Jason. He pulls her into the open janitorial supplies closet, pulling the door closed. Turning around, we can see he is a lot worse for wear. Red splotches, bad acne breakouts, profuse sweating, and a nasty grin. He’s also sporting sharp canines and incisors, just like Ginger. He asks if Ginger is avoiding him. Brigitte, stunned to silence at first, remains quiet as Jason rants about having questions for her sister. He wants to know why he’s growing a tail. He gets aggressive with Brigitte, who reminds him that hurting her won’t help.
I find it really fascinating that being turned (infected?) causes massive acne outbreaks in males. I mean, there’s parallels to the “curse” and menstruation, but after several viewings I’m noticing what’s happening to Jason. [Wing: A type of puberty, but with dick bleeding?] [bat: Maybe it’s the male werewolf version of a period.]
Jason informs Brigitte that he killed his own dog the night prior. Well, gotta take down the warning system. She informs him he’ll be in deep shit, Jason saying he already is. Just then, the kindly janitor opens the door and walks in on them. Jason storms out. Brigitte manages a thanks before walking away. Yeah, you dodged a bullet there, kindly janitor dude.
At the Fitzgerald’s dinner, a massive ham sits on the table, as everyone is silent while eating. Pamela is clearly pleased but also ready to stir the pot. She asks Ginger how school was. “Don’t know, I didn’t go.” Ginger snaps. Brigitte explains there was a field trip. Yeah, um, not that great of an excuse. Pamela points out she didn’t sign a permission slip. Ginger wants Henry to teach her to drive tonight. Pamela interjects “Next year, maybe!” before pressing Brigitte about the field trip.
Ginger flippantly asks what if next year doesn’t come? Pamela drops the bomb, saying the school (Mr Wayne, I believe) called and asked if Ginger was better and when she’d be returning to school. PLAN FAIL. She adds that the police want to talk to Ginger about Trina, since they had some sort of fight. Ginger asks her father to be excused and leaves the table, Pamela saying no. Brigitte tries to stop her sister but Ginger takes off, and Pamela gets her hands on Brigitte’s arm, dragging her back into the kitchen.
JUST CONTINUE TO EAT YOUR GODDAMN CHICKEN THERE, HENRY.
Pamela demands to know what’s going on. That’s when Brigitte finally pays attention to the flowers her mother brought home. It’s dried Aconite, Monkshood, the possible salvation and cure for her sister! Brigitte focuses on the plant, confirming it and asking where Pamela got it. “From the craft store!” Pamela informs her, demanding answers. Brigitte concocts a pseudo-truth-filled explanation that Trina tried to beat her up because Jason liked the Fitzgerald sisters better so Ginger beat up Trina. “That’s all!” Lord, girl, way to end it and cause more suspicions!
Of course Pamela makes it clear she is disappointed in both daughters, but more so in Brigitte for blindly following Ginger’s lead and not thinking for herself. [Wing: And yet when they spent time apart, she blamed Brigitte for driving her sister away! This woman is never fucking pleased.] Then Pamela forgets she’s the parent and asks Brigitte if she should talk to Ginger. Brigitte offers that Ginger thinks it’s cool Pamela is a hands-off parent who lets them figure shit out on their own. Uh huh. Pamela is surprised and her ego grows ten sizes, having wondered if that approach was working.
Bursting into their shared bathroom, monkshood in hand, Brigitte finds Ginger slicing through her fleshy tail with a kitchen knife. Blood is everywhere. Brigitte manages to stop her sister, throwing the knife on the ground. Ginger confesses she’s killed several pets and that nothing helps except tearing living things to pieces. Did anyone check the calendar yet??
Brigitte shows Ginger the monkshood. Says as soon as they figure out how to use it, they leave town. She yells at her sister, saying she’d never abandon her to live alone. The sisters have an emotional bit of reconciliation, but I don’t think it’s going to last. It’s really getting too late for Ginger to come back to humanity.
In bed, Ginger hides under the blankets while Brigitte clutches a wooden baseball bat. I don’t blame her.
7:31am. The clock radio comes on, wishing everyone a Happy Halloween. So basically the movie either skipped the 30th as a plot point or Ginger isn’t strictly on cycle. Speaking of, she (seemingly) awakens first and stumbles to the bathroom, her tail bandaged. As soon as the door shuts, Brigitte is up and out of bed, fully clothed. She pulled a wooden beam out and blocks the door, effectively locking Ginger in the bathroom. Well, this will go well.
Almost immediately Ginger starts screaming and banging on the door, demanding to be freed. Brigitte informs her its a safety measure, to keep her from self harm or harming others, while she goes and figures out the cure. [Wing: “I bind you, Nancy…”] She puts the bloodied knife from Ginger’s attempt at tail removal in the dresser, grabs the dried monkshood, and takes off for Sam’s greenhouse. Which is fully decorated for Halloween. Guess he’s going to throw a raging party. [Wing: He’s got this marketing thing down. Too bad he can’t fucking recognize a werewolf when she’s right in front of him.]
Shortly she shows him the monkshood, which he is shocked to see. Brigitte doesn’t know how to use it but she needs to try it now. Sam doesn’t know but suggests the “direct route”, injection. But they have zero clue what will happen. He lists off possible issues and stresses that she cannot do this alone. Dude, did you even see Ginger?? COME ON. HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW IT’S VERY OBVIOUSLY GINGER THAT’S CHANGING AND NOT BRIGITTE.
Brigitte assures Sam that Ginger will be with her. UH HUH.
Back at home, Ginger sits on the bathroom floor, her fleshy tail wiggling. Nothing like practical effects, for sure. She begins to cry, but we smash cut back to Brigitte and Sam, who are preparing the dried monkshood for injection. I mean, I’ve watched Trainspotting too many times, it’s basically the same. Back in the bathroom, we see the door is scratched up and splintering, as Ginger throws herself against it, her hands bloody from trying to break free. Yeah, nothing like locking a werewolf in a bathroom and thinking it will turn out okay!
Basically we’re treated to a montage of the preparation of the “cure” (yeah, because it would be so easy) and Ginger raging. That’s no small needle and Sam has prepared quite the dosage. Like, I have questions, it’s a very large dose. Especially when they have no virtual knowledge of how much is needed or what it will do. Ginger, meanwhile, eventually goes quiet, breathing hard, and I swear more of her hair has turned white. How no one hears her raging is beyond me, but this is a movie and I’m probably asking too much again.
Sam caps the needle and informs Brigitte she may kill her trying to save her. POINTS FOR SAM. HE ISN’T BLIND. Brigitte immediately plays dumb. Sam knows this dose is for Ginger, and he says in a worst case scenario, this will “put her out of her misery”. He stresses that Brigitte needs to be prepared and sure of what she’s about to do and the consequences. YES CONSEQUENCES. SOMEONE’S FINALLY POINTING OUT CONSEQUENCES. Even Sam the stoner knows he’s an accessory to potential manslaughter. It would be manslaughter, yes? It’s not technically murder, right?
Brigitte returns home to find, yes indeed, Ginger has broken free of the bathroom and escaped the bedroom. Well, now you’ve got a hungry werewolf (is this where we play Hungry Like the Wolf?) on the loose. Who went right to the high school. Ginger enters, her hair more white than red now, bleeding from the temple. She inquires of the horndogs where Jason is. One points out she has a head wound. She shrugs it off, asking if they’re going to the greenhouse bash tonight. She’s “in charge of the prizes”. Opening her overcoat, it is implied she flashes the horndogs, saying they could be winners.
A teacher (is it the teacher from the beginning?) clears his throat and orders Ginger to his office. Is it Mr Wayne? I’m not good at keeping track of adults in this film.
Brigitte, running but not very fast or very well, hears screams in the neighborhood and stops to investigate. It’s a good thing she does, as a small child in a Halloween costume – it looks like a dalmatian costume? [Wing: What the fuck time is it? Why is this kid already out and about in a Halloween costume? I have so many questions.] – has been accosted by none other than Jason! Who is wolf-ing out! Brigitte tells Jason to let the kid go. Jason makes a very wolf-like noise and releases his grip, the child running away. He looks even worse for wear, if that’s even possible, covered in angry acne. He’s happy to see a “chick” and it is heavily implied that he’s willing to sexually assault Brigitte. Great.
Brigitte arms herself with the dose of monkshood as Jason leaps on her. They struggle. Brigitte uncaps the needle and plunges it into the side of Jason’s neck, administering the full dose. Jason rolls off her and looks pretty dead for a moment, allowing Brigitte a chance to escape. She sticks around, watching as Jason sits up, not dead. Stammering that he has to go, the needle sticking out of the side of his neck, Jason gets up. I mean, his teeth are still sharp and pointy, and I can’t quite tell if some of the acne has disappeared, but it seems the monkshood worked? Jason stumbles off and Brigitte smiles. There is still hope for Ginger!
As she enters the school, Brigitte hears her name being paged to come to the guidance office. Oh, it was Mr Wayne! Brigitte stops to collect herself for a second before knocking on the door. A hand reaches out and grabs Brigitte, pulling her in, the door slamming shut. Ginger informs her sister that Mr Wayne wanted to call their mother. We are shown a very dead Mr Wayne, lying in a pool of his own blood, on top of his desk. There are massive claw marks across his face, head, and shoulder.
[Wing: For someone who wants nothing more than to tear living things apart, there’s not a lot of tearing in all this death.]
Ginger drones on as the sound turns muffled, as Brigitte looks over the carnage her sister has performed. Ginger accuses Brigitte of betraying her, yet again. Brigitte says she didn’t. We see Ginger, now more transformed but not full werewolf, and I’m wondering is this like the ‘you aren’t a full vampire until your first kill’ rule used in The Lost Boys. Because clearly Ginger has moved from eating pet dogs to slaughtering humans.
Accusing Brigitte of locking her up, Brigitte looks Ginger squarely in the eyes and says she needs to get this fixed. Um. How? Ginger points out she’ll go to prison for the rest of her life. Yet again Brigitte has a plan and says they’ll wait until everyone is gone and clean it up somehow. Okay, really, Brigitte looks more like a sociopath at this point, even if her reason is to protect her sister, who is a murderous werewolf. Like, I get it, but I also have spent enough time learning about crime scenes and stuff that I can make said judgement.
For some reason we are shown the school courtyard, where students run around in costume. Then we move back to the Fitzgerald home, where Pamela is working on her plants. Henry shouts in surprise from down the side yard. Pamela walks over to investigate. She picks up Trina’s fingers and mocks Henry, saying they’re just props from the sisters’ death project. Oh lord. She insists they’re fake fingers and Henry is being a big baby.
YET, PAMELA PUTS THE FINGERS IN A TUPPERWARE CONTAINER AND STASHES THEM IN THE FRIDGE. I guess that’s one way of keeping the evidence fresh for the pending murder trial against your daughters. We are shown Pamela leaning against the fridge, maybe having a moment of clarity? Maybe she realizes that yes, her daughters totally have something to do with Trina going missing??
BACK TO SCHOOL! Brigitte peers out into the hallway. Aside from a broken florescent light which has a strobe effect and is killing my eyeballs, no one is around. Apparently the sisters have waited everyone out and no one cares about Mr Wayne enough to wonder why he hasn’t gone home for the day. Ginger is on the floor, curled up in a ball, still blood-soaked. Brigitte says she’s off to find cleaning supplies. Ginger is to stay put and lock the door. PRESS X TO DOUBT.
I mean, she’s sucking the blood off her fingers, Brigitte. Do you honestly think she will obey a direct order?
Brigitte finds the cleaning cart in another hallway. Unattended. She approaches, a classroom door opens, a pile of garbage is being swept out by the kindly janitor. Uh oh. This is a clear and present fake out, because he has exited a classroom far closer to Mr Wayne’s office then where we last saw Brigitte. Also because we see Brigitte turn the cart around and begin running it back up the hallway. Kindly janitor notices the broken light – ow, my eyes – and instead fishes through his keyring to find the key to Mr Wayne’s office. Where Ginger awaits. Having NOT LOCKED THE DAMN DOOR.
Upon “unlocking” the door, it slams shut. This repeats several times. I mean, points to Ginger for trying? UNTIL SHE DOESN’T and the door opens and kindly janitor is already curious, so…
Of course, Brigitte rounds the corner and comes upon kindly janitor bleeding out, clearly having been attacked by Ginger. Sigh. Ginger stalks out of Mr Wayne’s office as the janitor becomes hysterical, the side of his throat ripped out and bleeding profusely. Ginger picks him up and puppets him, making crude comments as Brigitte demands she stop. So Ginger throws him into the lockers, repeatedly.
Screaming at her sister to stop, Brigitte is powerless in the face of what her sister has turned into. Ginger refuses, saying she doesn’t like how the janitor looked at Brigitte, before she throws the janitor head-first into the fire hose, shattering the glass. He falls to the floor, dead. Ginger crouches beside him, under a MISSING poster of Trina.
Like, literally, her period has a body count. This is what, four, if you include Norman?
Brigitte is having a full blown anxiety attack. Ginger, meanwhile, gets real close to the janitor’s body, focused on the blood. I can see him breathing. Oops. He’s not dead! He begins to gasp, frightening both sisters, who were just yelling at each other. I should also note, since I haven’t yet, that Ginger has one blue/white eye, and one normal human eye.
Realizing that Ginger hasn’t killed the janitor, only infected him – just like what happened when werewolf zero attacked them in the woods – Brigitte watches in horror as Ginger smashes her fist into the janitor’s chest, apparently killing him? I mean, I guess? Kind of weird.
Ginger explains that killing is like masturbation, you know how to pleasure yourself, and when you do it right it’s “fucking fireworks”. I mean, okay? Sure, why not, but murder? Really? Apparently being turned into a werewolf means she feels invincible and capable of anything. Well, yes, you’re an alpha predator losing their grip on humanity and moral compass, so sure. She informs Brigitte it’s like they’re not related anymore. [Wing: … maybe I spoke too soon about that lack of incest vibes.]
Brigitte explodes. “You’re fucked!” Way to state the obvious here.
Throwing her sister to the ground, Ginger crawls half over Brigitte, suggesting that Brigitte actually loves the idea and all she has to do is let Ginger scratch her and “swap some juice” and they can be their own pack. Now, I’ve witnessed enough of Game of Thrones’ incestuous relationships and this feels like it’s trying to go there. I mean, really, clearly this strain of werewolf is very aggressive in all things: murder, sex, blood lust. There’s been multiple mentions of the sisters being joined in some fashion. Let’s say I wouldn’t be totally surprised.
[Wing: Puberty = sexual maturity of the girl = sexualization of the girl = sexual predation by the girl = loss of any sense of right and wrong = murder and incest.]
Anyway, Brigitte informs Ginger she’d rather die than be what Ginger has become. Guess that’s a hard pass. Ginger does not take the no well, screaming about their death pact. She says she’d die for Brigitte. Brigitte coolly informs her older sister that’s not true, that she said she’d die with Brigitte because she had “nothing better to do”.
Ginger doesn’t want to go back to being a nobody. She gets up and kicks Brigitte – honestly it doesn’t look like it was that hard – but Brigitte acts like it really hurt. I mean, maybe Ginger kicked her in the kidney? Because, yes, that would suck.
Anyway, Ginger takes off, informing Brigitte she’ll tell Sam she said hi.
Back at the Fitzgerald home, someone’s digging in the shed! Pamela doesn’t take long to uncover Trina’s body. I mean, it’s a relatively shallow grave. She does have the decency to be shocked, at least.
Brigitte runs down the sidewalk, trying to stop a car full of teens clearly on their way to the greenhouse party. She fails to make them stop. A mini van pulls alongside and stops. The window rolls down. Pamela stares at her youngest daughter, before asking where Ginger is. Brigitte says the greenhouse. Pamela orders her into the van; Brigitte obeys and is handed the Tupperware container of Trina’s fingers. Ouch.
The party is in full swing at the greenhouse. We see multiple people in costumes, just as the door opens and in walks Ginger. The horndogs are happy to see her, as she divests her coat and reveals a tight top and miniskirt. Her eyes are both white/blue now and her red hair has turned fully white. Her complete transformation is nigh. She grabs the beer from the cow-costume horndog and takes a swig before kissing him. Then she heads off to find Sam…
…who is weighing out dime bags in his bedroom. Sheesh. Way to party, dude. His last ziplock comes up short. He turns and finds Ginger standing in the doorway. He asks where Brigitte is. “She couldn’t make it,” Ginger answers. Sam wants a reason. Ginger closes the bedroom door and great, now you are TRAPPED IN THERE WITH HER, Sam. He asks if Ginger wants to buy? Nope. She just opens her shirt and reveals she is TOTALLY TRANSFORMING INTO A WOLF COMPLETE WITH EXTRA NIPPLES.
Pamela and Brigitte arrive at the greenhouse party. Pamela orders Brigitte to get Ginger. Brigitte starts to say something about what’s going on when Pamela interrupts. She says they’ve done a terrible thing and it’s okay that they were going to leave but “nobody is going to take you from me”. UM. GIANT RED FLAG. Pamela informs Brigitte that first thing tomorrow she’ll fill the house with gas and light a match. MASSIVE RED FLAG! Pamela has clearly been plotting this but for how long?? She says they’ll start fresh, “just us girls”. Brigitte inquires about Henry. Pamela says he’ll just blame her, “they all will”. Oh dear lord.
[Wing: I fucking love the absurdity here.] [bat: It’s really unexpected the first time you view the film, which is refreshing.]
Brigitte chooses kindness and tells Pamela all of this isn’t her fault. Pamela nods, face screwed up, starting to cry. She says it is. ANOTHER MOMENT OF CLARITY?? I mean, five seconds ago you were plotting to kill your husband and abscond with your daughters, who are murders and accessories to murder. Anyway, Brigitte tells her mother to lock the van doors and charges out into the night, into the greenhouse, to find Ginger.
Back in the bedroom, Ginger is attempting to seduce and/or have her way with Sam. She pushes him on the bed. I have to give props to the SFX makeup team because that whole body plate to make the actress look as though she is turning into a werewolf is amazingly well sculpted and detailed. Sam asks Ginger what she’s doing. He isn’t immune to Ginger’s attempts to seduce and sexy talk him into a really bad idea. The kissing starts.
Brigitte shoves her way through the crowded greenhouse party. Look, the clock is ticking for Sam, hurry up! Brigitte goes through the back room in the greenhouse, where they cooked up the monkshood cure, which I guess you have to go through to reach the bedroom. Ginger’s making moves on Sam, who tells her to get off him. It goes so far as Sam knocking her physically off himself, which results in Ginger on the ground.
Brigitte slowly approaches the bedroom area, hearing Sam and Ginger fighting. Through the cracked door, she can see Sam telling Ginger to get up. He approaches her and for his trouble, Ginger turns around and snaps his forearm. Brigitte bursts into the room, screaming at Ginger to just take her and stop hurting others. Ginger, who is even more transformed towards werewolf-ness, snaps back that she doesn’t even know Brigitte anymore.
Sam, clutching his broken arm, watches at Brigitte takes a knife from a drawer and slashes open her palm. He shouts for her not to do what she’s about to do, which is let Ginger infect her, which she does by slicing open Ginger’s palm and pushing the wounds together. Brigitte says Ginger ruined everything for Brigitte, even when it wasn’t about Ginger. Harsh, but true. “Now I am you!” Brigitte tells Ginger.
Ginger, her face contorting more into a muzzle-shape – this is really amazing SFX makeup – gets pulled from the room by Brigitte. Sam, meanwhile, is left wounded on the floor. Like… is he going to turn? Or is it just his arm that’s broken?
Back in the car, Pamela is holding the Tupperware container of Trina’s fingers. In what is sure to be a stupid move, she exits the car with the Tupperware and pushes her way through the Halloween party crowd. Brigitte and Ginger are also moving through the crowd and it doesn’t seem like Brigitte sees Pamela, though it’s weirdly implied? I can’t tell.
The sisters get outside and Ginger tells Brigitte she is changing too fast. Sam comes up from behind and slams a shovel into Ginger’s head. Oops. She goes down. Brigitte screams at Sam, who says he won’t let her do this, they both need help. Brigitte explains the monkshood cure works, she just had to use it on Jason. And she did what she did to get Ginger to come back to the house so she could get more of the dried monkshood. Sam is all, “Oh, shit.”
Brigitte checks on Ginger, who’s apparently out cold, and asks Sam to get her sister in his truck and take them home. Sam agrees, so long as Ginger rides in the back. WELL BRIGITTE YOU DELIBERATELY DITCHED YOUR MOTHER, HOW DO YOU THINK THAT’S GOING TO TURN OUT? She rides with her head out the window of Sam’s truck… it’s a van, okay… clearly already being turned by the infection. Sam thinks they need a doctor.
Brigitte shows Sam her palm, which looks real nasty. Sam says Ginger could have killed her. “She needs me,” Brigitte replies. Her plan is to get to the house, cure Ginger, then cure herself. Yeah, I have some questions about this plan…
Ginger is awake in the back of the van and it looks real bad. Her body is twisting in transformation as blood gushes out of her mouth. We are given a pretty wild transformation montage – ranks up there with An American Werewolf in London and The Howling – as Ginger begins her final transformation.
The garage door rises, as Brigitte stands and waits for Sam to back his van into the garage, her face illuminated red by the tail lights. FORESHADOWING?? Also, how did neither of them hear Ginger being ripped apart by transformation?? She asks Sam for the syringe, before opening the inner door to the house. Henry does not answer when called. Sam swears and realizes the back latch on the van is broken. Both are afraid Ginger has escaped. Is it even plausible?? Sam uses a flashlight to look through the back windows. Before he can really see, the door flies open and both Sam and Brigitte fall backwards, as Ginger snarls, snaps, and escapes. She’s made it into the house.
With Sam badly injured with his broken arm and Brigitte falling under the influence of the infection, both aren’t real thrilled that Ginger is running loose in the house where the only cure is. They work their way slowly through the house, surveying the damage Ginger has already caused. Something rattles a wall, drawing Brigitte’s attention to a portrait of her and Ginger. Another bang and the portrait falls, the glass shattering. Sam yelps. He’s helpfully armed with a heavy wrench, for all the good it will do him.
Reminding Sam to be quiet, they continue on into the kitchen, where the fridge door has been ripped off its hinges, the cabinets are flung open, and the lights flicker from damage. Both move quickly to their tasks. Sam enters the kitchen and finds a spoon and bowl, looking for alcohol. Brigitte finds Pamela’s crafting stash of dried flowers and pulls out the monkshood. She returns to Sam, who asks for a lighter. “I can’t feel my hand,” she informs him.
Just then Ginger bangs around in another room, sending Sam and Brigitte into the pantry closet to not only hide but whip up a batch of monkshood cure. They set to work, finding a bottle of alcohol, while Brigitte grinds the blossoms. Sam mentions things being unhygienic but Brigitte states does it really matter at this point? He continues, suggesting Brigitte take the dose and they leave. Brigitte is an emphatic no on that.
Sam says he can do it, he can dose Ginger. Brigitte issues a second no. He points out she’s in no shape to do it. He can wait in the living room and Brigitte can lead Ginger in, Sam can dose her, and they’re done. OKAY MAYBE DON’T WHISPER YOUR ENTIRE PLAN ALOUD?? WEREWOLF HEARING ANYONE?? ALSO THEY CAN SMELL REAL GOOD??
Brigitte, oddly, agrees. Sam takes the uncapped syringe and holds it in his teeth while opening the pantry door with his good hand. Brigitte warns him to be careful. And that’s the end of Sam, for as soon as he sticks his good arm out, Ginger is there, pulling him out of the pantry. The door slams shut, blocking most of the view as she savages him brutally. Sam screams, a lot. Then there is silence.
Blood begins to seep under the door, which is broken straight up the middle, from Sam being repeatedly smashed into it. Brigitte, horrified yet again, huddles in the pantry. The door opens, allowing a brief view, before slamming shut again and Ginger snarling and snapping. Brigitte gasps and turns off the flashlight.
Finally Brigitte collects herself and exits the pantry, walking out into the pool of blood on the floor, which also covers the doors and pretty much most hard surfaces in the kitchen. She spies the syringe, still full, on the floor. Sam clearly did not have a chance to use it. Brigitte stoops to collect it then views the trail of blood that leads down the hall, where Ginger has obviously dragged Sam’s body.
Does anyone care where Henry is? No? Just checking. [Wing: Did they ever?]
Brigitte slowly heads down the hall, syringe in hand, needle pointed away. It’s slow going towards the stairs down to the girls’ bedroom, until Brigitte trips and drops the syringe. Oops. Unable to recover it, she aims the flashlight beam and finds the blood-soaked carpet, where Ginger has dragged the body. On her feet again, Brigitte finds the syringe has fallen under the open-back treads of the stairs. She stupidly turns her back, trying to reach it, coming up short.
Sam yells, startling her. Brigitte calls his name, forgetting the syringe, and walking through the bloody trail towards the unfinished section of the basement. Soon she finds him, sitting up against the unfinished wall, breathing much like the kindly janitor did before Ginger finished him. Uh oh. He’s infected and changing. Ginger didn’t kill him.
And that’s when Brigitte sees Ginger. Or, as I am now going to term it were!Ginge. Because she’s fully transformed into a large white werewolf and is leaning over Sam, watching him. Brigitte calls her sister’s name, drawing her attention. Slowly Brigitte drops to a crawl and makes her way down the hall, towards them. She reaches Sam, who stares at Brigitte while gasping. Were!Ginge snarls. Brigitte dips her fingers in the pool of Sam’s blood and licks it off. Goes back for seconds, thirds, and okay she’s just eating it now. Sam has stopped gasping. Were!Ginge is also licking blood off the floor.
Brigitte vomits up the blood. This draws were!Ginge’s attention. Brigitte wipes at her mouth, backing away as she tells were!Ginge she can’t and won’t. Were!Ginge does not like this turnabout and lunges, ripping into Sam’s throat. WELP HE DEAD NOW. Brigitte runs. Were!Ginge gives chase. It’s all a bit shaky and fast, since they’re moving between unfinished walls and stuff in the basement.
Do you think Ginger attacked Sam to turn him, in order to entice Brigitte? Maybe even encourage a three-some type of deal? Then when Brigitte backed out of accepting werewolf-ism, she killed him on purpose? Thoughts?
[Wing: I do, actually. She might have used whoever was there as bait to lure Brigitte into feasting, but that it was Sam adds other layers to it.]
Anyway, the chase continues. Brigitte manages to squeeze through a small space, slipping were!Ginge’s notice, and finding the syringe. She hurries to grab it, still making too much noise. She stops, waiting, before reaching for it. Were!Ginge lunges into frame, Brigitte screaming. The open framing prevents were!Ginge’s body from entering the small space where Brigitte is trapped. Brigitte screams at what was once her sister, before remembering the syringe. She grabs it.
Were!Ginge continues to lunge against the beams holding her back. Brigitte kicks through the drywall, escaping into a dark and more unfinished part of the basement. She stops to LOOK BACK and finds were!Ginge gone. Shortly she makes it into their bedroom and slams the door, moving furniture to block the door. Yeah. Maybe works?
Locking the other door, she retrieves the still-bloody knife from the dresser drawer. Armed with the knife and the syringe of monkshood, Brigitte turns when she hears the snaps and snarls of were!Ginge. I’m not entirely sure but were!Ginge is apparently already in the room? Brigitte backs up, pleading with her sister – or what’s left of her sister inside the twisted body of the werewolf – to remember that it is her, Brigitte.
Were!Ginge advances, pausing only when Brigitte holds up the syringe of monkshood. “Want this?” she asks. Were!Ginge roars, sending Brigitte back around the bed frame, her back to the wall as she is pinned in. I think the answer was no.
“I’m not dying in this room with you!” Brigitte yells, jumping on top of the mattress. She holds out the knife and the syringe as were!Ginge leaps on her sister. They crash, landing on the floor, were!Ginge stopped short. Her muzzle is pressed almost into Brigitte’s face. Brigitte looks down and realizes she has plunged the knife into the werewolf’s heart. Brigitte panics, pushing were!Ginge off and backing up into the wall. Were!Ginge lays, still and quiet, dying. Brigitte looks up, seeing all the photos of Ginger and herself posed in various death scenarios.
Brigitte cries. She is alone now. She looks down and sees the syringe of monkshood still clutched in her left hand. Instead of saving her sister, she killed her. Were!Ginge is still breathing, but there will be no cure. Brigitte crawls over and hugs her sister, listening until were!Ginge ceases to breathe. The camera pulls back, framing the sorrowful scene in a wide shot, before the screen goes black.
Who knew a little werewolf movie that could would be so damn emotional at the end? Usually it’s an emotional sense of relief or joy that the worst is over. Yes, some sadness, especially among the survivors. But this one just ends on total flat-out sadness.
I’ve only watched this film a handful of times and it’s interesting to me to see who I relate more to as I grow older. I think this time I gravitated more towards Brigitte, since she’s forced to be more mature than her years allow while attempting to rein in her sister even though she is not the parent. And the useless parents, of course, seem to be a trope in horror media at large. Also I will spare you the tale of me having to play whack-a-mole and replace Brigitte’s name in this recap because I horribly misspelled it and didn’t bother to check its spelling until I was finished writing. Yeah, that’s not a fun time.
Ginger Snaps is the kind of movie I like, regardless the genre. Small, self-encapsulated, developed characters that aren’t totally one-note stereotypes – I mean, there’s exceptions but for the most part, the main characters are developed – and a proper ending. Yeah, I know, there’s a sequel and a prequel but there’s also two films that purport to be “sequels” to The Lost Boys and I just pretend they don’t exist.
Although I think other films have used the “period as a metaphor” trope before, I don’t remember any being about sisters who already have a pseudo-death wish. We have seen several films use family bonds and how far you are willing to go for your relative in the face of a supernatural event, particularly in the werewolf genre. Ginger Snaps is a very worthy offering and should be on any werewolf lover’s viewing list.
[Wing: Hard agree with all of it. The movie says a lot about puberty, sexualization of teen girls, suburbia, absurdity, disconnect with consequences until something real happens, etc. It’s not always successful in what it’s trying to say, but on top of all that, it’s also a fun werewolf movie with great sisters, nice effects, and a solid, powerful atmosphere. I love it every time I watch it, which is often.]
With that, have a happy Wolf Moon everyone! Until next time, lycan subscribe for the next installment of Snark at the Moon!